By Katie Zupancic Wymer
In this experience economy, customers are looking for more than just a product or service. Enter live events. Event participants want an engaging experience, and by registering for and attending an event, participants share that they’re craving a connection. This connection may be with other participants, with the event, or with the mission of the event – or any combination of the three.
Event marketers have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this desire for connection; ultimately growing brand awareness, constituent engagement, and increased registrations and fundraising. Why? Live events are inherently SOCIAL. On-event social media allows you to share participant experiences in real-time, both for those attending the event and for those watching at home. Features of important event elements – like mission integration, ceremonies, merchandise, and “icing on the cake” moments – help foster that desired connection between your event and attendees. Finally, sharing participant and team stories via on-event social media is the ultimate form of these connections happening at events.
Once the event features and participant stories are identified, it’s time to determine the tools needed to capture and share the photos, video, soundbites, and stories over social media. As we mentioned, since live events are SOCIAL, so are the tools.
S – Start with your Smart phone! With the high quality of today’s smart phone cameras, it is entirely possible to get a start in on-event social using a cell phone camera. Smartphone Apps, like Sprout Social, can also help with seamless uploading to social media channels.
O – Optimize with accessories. Tripods and stabilizers are a great way to improve the quality of your videos and images. Similarly, sometimes in a crowded start shoot, it’s hard to get an angle showing the entire crowd. If you put your phone on a selfie stick but turn it around the other way, you can gain a new bird’s-eye perspective.
C – Camera. Take quality to the next level; wi-fi enabled cameras can sync up to your phone or laptop, allowing you to post higher-quality images while you’re at the event. Considering trying 360-degree cameras out in the field this year, which give people watching at home a 360-degree view of the event. GoPros are also great if you’re out in the elements. Pro-tip – include a GoPro microphone to enhance participant interviews while minimizing ambient sound.
I – Don’t forget the just-In-case! Don’t leave home without a backup battery pack, or your equipment may not make it through your entire event day. Extra chargers, batteries, microphones, and memory cards are a necessity for your on-event bag.
A – Go “All-terrain!” Make sure your shoes are appropriate for the terrain and mileage that you’ll need to cover. A gator or vehicle may be helpful, depending on the set-up and length of your event.
L – Live streaming brings unique challenges. When you’re live streaming, make sure you have a signal for your team. We wear “We’re Live!” signs and announce via walkie that we’re live. These buttons also help increase engagement from participants to the camera.
Once the tools are obtained, it is time to start capturing and sharing content that furthers event participants’ connections. If the content is strong and engaging, it will foster all types of connections; with other participants, with the event, and with the mission. The stronger the connection, the more likely that a participant will return year-after-year – and that people watching on-event social media from afar will join next year as participants.
We can’t wait to see the incredible content you’ll capture at your event. Need more support? We’re here to help.
Katie Zupancic Wymer (LinkedIn, Twitter) is the Manager, Consumer Marketing at Event 360. She manages digital marketing and social media strategy and sponsorship for MuckFest® MS, the FUN mud run in support of a world free of multiple sclerosis. She also manages digital marketing for other fundraising events like Bike MS. Newly Minnesotan, she enjoys exploring her new home with her tiny dog, Annie.